For most, Seychelles may conjure up thoughts of remote islands surrounded by turquoise waters, white-sand beaches and massive boulders. But it doesn’t end there!
Right in the middle of the island of Mahé in Seychelles lie a cute colonial city, incredible lush forest and mountains just waiting to be explored!
Located off the east coast of Africa, Seychelles is made up of three main islands; Mahé, La Digue and Praslin and other smaller islands, some of which are uninhabited. When visiting Seychelles, most people choose Mahé as their base since it’s the cheapest and most accessible.
If you’re wondering what to do in Mahé Seychelles, this travel guide will show you everything you need to know including tips on how to get around, the best time to visit and the best place to stay on a budget.
Keep reading for all the best things to do in Mahé Seychelles on a budget!
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BEST THINGS TO DO IN MAHE SEYCHELLES
Three days in Mahé, Seychelles is the right amount of time to experience what this tiny island has to offer. From stunning beaches to scenic hikes, discover 13 things to do in Mahé Seychelles on a budget for the perfect tropical vacation!
EXPLORE SEYCHELLES BEACHES!
One of the main reasons people plan their trip to Seychelles is to enjoy the pristine white-sand beaches! The beaches in Seychelles are among the most picturesque with powdery white sand and amazing rock formations!
Most of Seychelles beaches are accessible by bus, except for some which require a bit of a hike! Here are a few of the most beautiful beaches in Mahé Seychelles:
ANSE NORD D’EST
Anse Nord D’Est is quite off the beaten path and doesn’t attract too many tourists. The bus station is located right on the beach, making it easily accessible. Not only is the sand extremely soft, but the massive boulders on the left side of the beach look amazing in pictures!
You could “cheat” by taking a boat to Anse Major, but the best way to get there is by hiking along the trail that offers breathtaking views over the west coast of Mahé. Along the way, you will find several viewpoints until you reach the secluded beach.
Anse Intendance is considered as one of the most beautiful beaches in Mahé! The large stretch of white sand beach is not usually crowded and thus you can enjoy it all to yourself for some peace and quiet!
Related post: Best Beaches in Seychelles
GO ON A HIKE
Another highly recommended thing to do in Mahé on a budget is to go on a hike. Most of the hiking trails are located along the Morne Seychellois National Park but there are others along the coast as well.
Some of them are easy and others more challenging, but scenic nonetheless. Below are the two hikes that I did during my trip to Mahé:
ANSE MAJOR TRAIL
By far one of the most beautiful hikes in Mahé Seychelles, Anse Major Trail circles around the incredible coastline for about 2.5 km to finally end at a secluded beach!
There isn’t much parking space, instead, you’ll have to leave your car along the side of the road or come by bus. From Beau Vallon Police station, take the “Bel Ombre” bus and ask to be dropped off at the last bus station.
The beginning of the trail is found about one kilometer away and goes mostly uphill, but worth the extra pain! Once you reach the main trail, stare in awe at the breathtaking views over the ocean on one side and mountains on the opposite.
An early start is advisable since a big chunk of the trail lies directly under the sun. If you’re tired after the hike you can arrange a taxi boat back to Bel Ombre (contact number: +248 254 04 54).
Hiking to Copolia is a must-do in Mahé Seychelles! The hike is not too strenuous and takes about 45 minutes on the way up and 30 minutes down. The trail runs through the forest which provides enough shade, but it’s still recommended to start early to avoid the heat.
You’ll need good hiking shoes as some parts are steep and uneven. Along the trail, you’ll discover different plant species and even spot the carnivorous Pitcher plants!
As you almost reach the end of the trail, you’ll come across two small wooden bridges. This part is a little confusing since you may think that the trail leads straight ahead.
Instead, take the path on the left, just a few meters after the last bridge until you see a ladder leading to the top.
You’ll finally be greeted by a panoramic view of the city of Victoria and Eden Island! It can be very windy here, so avoid getting too close to the edge.
LOOK OUT FOR STREET ARTS IN VICTORIA
The street art scene is very prominent in Mahé, especially in the capital city of Victoria. Painted by several Seychellois artists and the South African, Wesley Pepper, the murals depict the African heritage of Seychelles while bringing out a message about environmental conservation.
There are lots of street arts all around the Victoria bus terminal and along Independence Avenue.
FEAST ON STREET FOOD AT THE BEAU VALLON NIGHT MARKET
When I travel to a new country, I do my best to eat as much local food as I can. Luckily, street food in Mahé isn’t too expensive.
Street food stalls are found mostly around Beau Vallon Beach where you can taste traditional dishes such as grilled fish with rice, curries and more. Banana and breadfruit chips are some popular snacks that you should try as well!
The street food stalls in Beau Vallon are open every night from 6 p.m.
The Victoria Clocktower is one of the most famous landmarks in Mahé, Seychelles. Erected in memory of Queen Victoria, it’s a smaller version of the Big Ben and serves as a roundabout on the busy streets of Victoria.
The Victoria Market (Sir Selwyn Clarke Market) is a small but colorful market where you can get fresh produce, fish, spices and souvenirs. There’s also a restaurant upstairs but prices are steep, even by Seychelles standards!
The Victoria Market is open every day except on Sundays and is particularly busy on Saturdays.
As you make your way down Independence Avenue, you will come across the Bicentennial monument which marks the 200th anniversary of the city of Victoria. The monument consists of three wings which represent the perfect blend of different ethnicities in Seychelles.
IMMACULATE CONCEPTION CATHEDRAL
The Immaculate Conception Cathedral is the biggest church in Seychelles and is found a few meters from the Victoria Market. Constructed in the late 1800s, the Cathedral boasts an impressive yet simple architecture with beautiful stained-glass windows.
Besides the Cathedral, is the Priest house, La Domus. The bell tower is located behind but unfortunately, seems to be closed off to the public.
ARUL MIHU NAVASAKTHI VINAYAGAR TEMPLE
Named after the Hindu God of safety and prosperity, the Arul Mihu Navasakthi Vinayagar temple is the only Hindu temple in Mahé.
The temple is easily noticeable by the colorful sculptures of Hindu deities all over the façade. Entrance is free and you need to take off your shoes before entering.
NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM
If you want to learn about the history of Seychelles and see several exhibits, including ships models and firearms, then you should pay a visit to the National History Museum. The museum has been recently renovated and entrance costs SCR 150 (US$ 11).
TAKE A STROLL AROUND VICTORIA HARBOR
If you plan on visiting other islands in Seychelles such as La Digue or Praslin, you’ll most probably depart from the Victoria Harbor.
But, if you’re only staying in Mahé, you can still have a nice stroll around and even spot the windmills in the distance.
A visit to the Botanical Garden will allow you to experience the diverse fauna and flora of Seychelles. The garden is home to several plant species, with a whole alley lined with the Coco de Mer trees. You’ll also come across exotic and endemic birds and the giant tortoises.
The Seychelles Botanical Garden is open every day from 7.30 a.m to 5 p.m and costs SCR 100 (US$ 7.35).
WATCH A MAGICAL SUNSET
If there’s one thing you can’t miss in Mahé Seychelles, it’s the sunset! Even though the weather was cloudy every evening, I was lucky enough to witness these golden hues reflecting against the sky.
BEST TIME TO VISIT MAHE
There isn’t really a wrong or right time to visit Mahé. Since the island is located near the equator, it feels like summer all year round with temperatures rarely going below 21 degrees Celsius.
May to September is usually considered the dry season. It may rain a few times during the day but luckily not for long.
During the first half of the year, the northern part of the island faces strong winds, making the ocean quite rough. Whereas, the south of the island experiences better weather conditions during that time. On the other hand, during the last half of the year, weather conditions are better in the north of Seychelles.
WHERE TO STAY IN MAHE?
Seychelles is an expensive destination, but that doesn’t mean you can’t visit if you’re on a budget. There is a wide range of guesthouses available on booking.com offering self-catering options which can help you save some money.
I chose Lemongrass Lodge in Beau Vallon which is found just a few meters from the beach and had an amazing view of the ocean!
There are different types of rooms available at Lemongrass Lodge for every budget. I stayed in the Zanbrosa Apartment for about US$ 83 per night.
The room is clean and spacious and has a fully equipped kitchen, two double beds and free Wi-Fi. The only downside is that it’s located uphill and getting there can be a bit strenuous. But that’s pretty much the standard in Mahé and it was the cheapest option I found near Beau Vallon Beach.
HOW TO GET AROUND MAHE?
The easiest way to get around is by renting a car. Car rentals in Seychelles usually start from US$ 40. Driving in Seychelles, especially Mahé can be a little challenging since some roads are narrow and steep. Just be careful and take it slow and you’ll be fine.
You can book a private airport transfer for about US$ 40 and if you want to hire a private taxi for a half-day tour around the island, expect to pay about US$ 110.
The cheapest option of getting around Mahé is by taking the bus. It costs SCR 7 (US$ 0.50) per trip but it’s also the most time-consuming. Some buses depart every hour and are not always on time. But buses in Mahé will get you almost everywhere around the entire island.
I hope that this budget guide to Mahé Seychelles has inspired you to plan your next vacation in this tropical paradise! As always, let me know if you have any questions about my trip to Seychelles and I’ll be happy to help!